• China Surpasses America As World’s Largest Economy

    For the first time in history, the People’s Republic of China’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded the GDP of America, as measured by purchasing power, in 2014. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s purchasing power GDP hit $17.6 trillion last year versus $17.4 trillion in the US.

    This was an important milestone for both countries, and China will almost certainly expand its lead over the US in the coming years and decades. Yet that is not necessarily a bad thing for the US, as I will explain below. You probably didn’t hear about this in the media, and that’s why we will talk about it today.

    But before we get to our main topic, let’s look at a few recent economic reports of interest. The US economy has largely disappointed this year, with weaker-than-expected growth in sales, spending and production, with most of reports showing scant momentum.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 05-26-2015
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  • New World Currency Backed By Gold or Silver?

    History has proven that 100% of fiat currencies have failed the test of time. The average life span of a fiat currency is 40-50 years. With the US dollar now in it’s 44 th year it makes you wonder if the end of the greenback is near. The only money...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 05-21-2015
  • Why US Economic Growth May Disappoint Again In 2015

    Our main topic today is how the US economy continues to disappoint expectations, and 2015 looks to be no exception. Forecasts for GDP growth this year continue to be downgraded, and there is at least a small possibility that the US economy is slipping into recession, as I will discuss below.

    But before we get into that discussion, let’s look at a few recent economic reports that are not encouraging. Retail sales that were expected to bounce in April were flat and have been trending lower since 2012. Consumer sentiment, which had reached the highest level since 2004 by the end of last year, dropped to a seven-month low earlier this month. And factory output slipped in April, the fifth monthly decline in a row.

    We will end today with a new article on the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the Wall Street Journal, which explains why I continue to support this controversial trade agreement.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 05-19-2015
  • History Shows A Gold Bull Market Is Fast Approaching

    By Jeff Clark Yearning for sunnier skies for your gold investments? How’s this sound… Gold in a decisive bull market, with the price steadily rising Silver soaring and outpacing gold’s gains Gold stocks rocking, erasing underwater positions...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 05-19-2015
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  • Look Who Wants To Compromise Now.

    In This Issue.

    * No data means no weak data.

    * So, dollar begins to recover, and momentum takes over.

    * Coeure throws a cat among the pigeons.

    * N.Z. inflation ticks higher.

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 05-19-2015
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  • Federal Tax Receipts Surged In April To New Record

    Federal tax receipts surged in April to generate the largest monthly US budget surplus in seven years, the latest sign that climbing stock values, hefty corporate profits and rising incomes for wealthier Americans are improving the nation’s budget picture...
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  • Buy Silver or You Will Die!

    By Jeff Clark It’s the news everyone dreads—a call from the hospital. And it’s about one of the most important people in the world… Your mother. [Every ALL-CAPS ITEM below contains silver or is required in its use.] You hear the...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 05-13-2015
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  • Eurozone 1st QTR GDP Beats U.S. and U.K.!

    In This Issue.

    * A$ gets a life from Hedge Funds & Strategists.

    * Euro leads currencies higher VS dollar.

    * Wheeler tries to deep six kiwi.

    * Chinese Retail Sales grow 10%!

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 05-13-2015
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  • Prognosticators Who Cried Wolf about Dollar & Global Economic Collapse

    Over the years, hundreds of various self-proclaimed prognosticators who said a global economic collapse were to happen on this date or that date have failed. Sort of like the old story about the shepherd who cried wolf. Unfortunately this is EXACTLY what...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 05-13-2015
  • Problems The Media Ignored In The April Jobs Report

    Today we’ll start with a look at last Friday’s unemployment report for April. If you read the mainstream media accounts, it was fantastic – the official unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, the lowest level since 2007. But as usual, if we dig into the internals of the report, we find that the results were much less than desired.

    One of those findings was the fact that the percentage of adult women in the workforce has fallen to the lowest level in 27 years, but you had to look deep into the report to discover that data. The reasons for this phenomenon are not entirely clear, but I will offer some suggestions, in what is a rapidly growing debate.

    Following that discussion, we take a look at the exploding growth in “margin debt” on the New York Stock Exchange. In March, margin debt soared to a new record high of $476.3 billion. Some analysts believe this is a major problem for the equity markets, while others think it’s a positive development. But what we do know is that margin debt peaks at major market tops. With the major market indexes at or near their all-time highs, the next few weeks should be very interesting!

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 05-12-2015
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  • Investor Focused Market Analysis

    The SP500 index (US Stock Market) continues to be in and Uptrend . The major trend line on the chart below must be broken in a big way before a full blown bear market will be confirmed. This is still months away at best so do not worry. The AlgoTrades...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 05-07-2015
  • Why Most Investors Consistently Underperform The Market

    Long-time clients and readers will recall that for years I have been writing about the annual Dalbar Studies which compare the actual performance of mutual funds versus what the average mutual fund investor actually earns. You may also recall that the numbers are quite ugly – the average investor makes significantly less than mutual fund performance reports would suggest in both stock and bond funds.

    The problem is not that mutual funds overstate their performance. The problem is that too many investors decide to switch into and out of mutual funds too frequently, in the hopes of boosting their returns. All too often, investors decide to sell the fund(s) they currently own, often at a low point, and switch into the latest hot performers, just before they hit a losing period. This practice too often results in selling low and buying high. I call it the “Mutual Fund Merry Go-Round.”

    If you have not seen these Dalbar statistics before, you are probably shocked. So was I when I first saw them in 1994! What is most surprising is that there has been very little improvement in the numbers over the last 20 years.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 05-06-2015
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  • Do More Americans Feel Confident About Retirement?

    More Americans say they are feeling more confident about their retirement. That’s according to the results of the latest “Retirement Confidence Survey” conducted each year by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The Washington-based EBRI is the leading source for data on savings, retirement, health and related issues.

    In their 2015 survey, some 37% of all respondents said they feel “very confident” about their retirement, and another 33% said they feel “somewhat confident.” The problem is that many Americans ‘say’ they are confident about having enough money to retire, even though they have nowhere near enough money stashed away. Many people overstate the amount of retirement savings they actually have and under-estimate how much money they will actually need in retirement.

    As we drill deeper into the latest retirement survey, we find that overall only 22% of current workers are now very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement. The 2015 survey also revealed that workers with a company-sponsored retirement plan are more than twice as likely as those without a retirement plan to be very confident – 28% with a plan, as compared to only 12% without a plan.

    I'll summarize the main findings in the latest EBRI retirement survey as we go along today. Following that discussion, I am compelled to criticize what I consider to be some of the worst investment advice I have seen in my 38 years in this business. The advice came in the form of a controversial video that was posted on a popular website last week.

    It was quickly criticized by a number of respected financial writers, mainly because the author, James Altucher, argued that investors and savers, especially younger ones, should avoid and/or abandon their employers’ 401(k) plans. He makes several erroneous statements about 401(k)s and their sponsors that many of us in the financial industry vehemently disagree with. So along with others who quickly discredited the video, I will criticize Mr. Altucher today. I hope no one takes his advice seriously!

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 05-01-2015
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  • The Third and Final Transformation of Monetary Policy

    The law of unintended consequences is becoming ever more prominent in the economic sphere, as the world becomes exponentially more complex with every passing year. Just as a network grows in complexity and value as the number of connections in that network grows, the global economy becomes more complex, interesting, and hard to manage as the number of individuals, businesses, governmental bodies, and other institutions swells, all of them interconnected by contracts and security instruments, as well as by financial and information flows.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 04-29-2015
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  • Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook: First Quarter 2015

    I think it was almost two years ago that I was in Cyprus. Cyprus had just come through its crisis and was still in shell shock. I was there to get a feel for what it was like, and a number of my readers had courteously arranged for me to meet with all sorts of people and do a few presentations. A local group arranged for me to speak at the lecture hall of the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia.

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 04-29-2015
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